Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Michelle Manoll

After a few lame jobs, Michelle realized she was happiest in the gym. She made fitness her career and sculpted a masterpiece physique. Follow her plan and sculpt your own!

Fitness was not always part of my life. I was a sick child, didn't eat well, partied too much, did not eat right, or sleep well; I was in a dark place in life. Then one day I was tired of being sick and tired. So I decided to join a gym. That day changed my entire life. I started working out, reading fitness magazines, and joined I was instantly addicted, I would tell my friends it was the only addiction that was good for you so I didn't feel bad for dedicating all my spare time to it.

I decided to go back to school and get out of working on a factory line. Then after school and a few jobs later, the only time I was truly happy was in the gym. I fell in love with the way my body felt, the way it was transforming and shaping into something so beautiful. I felt like an artist sculpting a masterpiece. How amazing is it that you can actually sculpt your body into the way you want it if you work hard and don't give up?

I met some amazing people and inspirations at my local gym and they helped believe in me. The more I fell in love with lifting, the more I enjoyed spinning classes and boot camps the better I felt, I felt alive again. I am always walking around with a smile now, that's something no one can take away from me.

I decided to go back to school again, but this time for the right thing, personal training. I now have my fitness and nutrition degree (which I might add that I graduated with highest honours) as well as my personal training certificate. I was laid off from my office job last year and was finally able to start my career in something that I had dedicated my heart and soul into for the past few years. Now I am able to help others make life style changes and honestly life has never been so good. I am even teaching spin classes now!

I decided to enter my first fitness competition. Why not since my body was becoming in such amazing shape? I had a fear of going on stage but that didn't stop me. I dedicated all my free time to researching clean eating, different ways to eat, supplements, workouts. Thanks to's exercise database I constantly had new ideas to add to my workouts.

I entered the SAF (Serious About Fitness) fitness model competition in October 2011. It was my first show. I didn't have a coach; I had myself and trained myself. I practiced my T walk and my posing everyday for months. I was extremely strict with my nutrition. I actually read one of the Topics of the Week which was what to do at four weeks out of competition and it really helped me with my nutrition, sodium and carb cycling.

I went to the gym everyday. I never missed a workout and I never gave in when all my girls were going out for dinner or a drink and would constantly say "how can just one hurt." That didn't matter to me, it wasn't important, I had a goal in mind, and nothing was stopping me. I wanted to go into the show knowing I did everything I could to look my best on stage.

When the day came I went in with the idea that I didn't care what I placed I was only there for myself. After pulling off what I thought was an amazing walk and posing routine, I left the stage being satisfied. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would have placed 1st and become an Elite Pro Fitness Model on my first show, but I did. I am hooked, the adrenaline rush on stage, the beauty of a fit strong woman and the way she moves on stage. I can't wait for my next show as a PRO! I have to step up my game now and have been working very hard, SAF 2012 here I come!

Why Do You Love Fitness/Bodybuilding?

I love bodybuilding and fitness because of the way it makes me feel, the endorphin high after a great pump. The strength I feel and know I have. The gorgeous physique I now have and am complimented for everywhere I go. Fitness and bodybuilding are my life and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I love that the bodybuilding community is so close knit, that most body builders stick together and help each other out. I have met so many great friends and am glad to have them around for support.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

The way I feel motivates me. It's the walk past the mirror and you stop because you see a nice new curve or simply because you like what you see. I know so many people that hide under layers of clothes and who hate to look at themselves (I use to be one of those people).

Being able to wake up in the morning energized and ready to take on my day motivates me. A healthy lifestyle is the only lifestyle for me.

Knowing that I can tackle whatever it is in my day is a great feeling. Having the strength to take on new challenges is also pretty great.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

The main reason was everyone telling me I couldn't. The more into lifting and fitness I was the more everyone around me told me I could never make a living out of it. The point when I realized I didn't care about the money, that I needed to fulfill my passion regardless of the risks, is when my life really started. Now I have won a fitness competition, I am an Elite Pro Fitness Model, I am a certified personal trainer with my own business called Ma Belle Fitness, and am training to become a fitness instructor at the Brockville and Area YMCA. It made me realize that hard work, determination, and never giving up even when you fail once is what it takes to make your dreams a reality. No matter how long something takes, work hard and be persistent and eventually it will be yours.

What Are Your Future Fitness/Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan on competing this summer with SAF as an Elite Pro and also entering the Oxygen Model search. I plan on competing with IDFA since I am a drug free athlete and would like to eventually become a pro in fitness model with them as well. I wish to continue sculpting and perfecting my body through out the rest of my life and I will never give up.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?

Don't go into a show to compete against the other women. Compete with yourself. Compete with the girl you were at the last show. Dedicate yourself to coming in better, leaner, stronger, and having better stage presence then you did the last time. Don't worry about the other girls. If you did your absolute best and you did everything possible that should be a win in your head no matter what the outcome.

Also do not listen to everyone's advice. Learn what works for with your body through trial and error and do what works for you. Everyone is completely different and so should your workout plans. Another tip I would give is how important nutrition is. Having my nutrition diploma I cannot stress enough the importance of having a well balanced diet. You are what you eat, if you want to look fantastic you have to eat for it. Eat 6 meals per day about 2-3 hours apart. Your metabolism is like a wood stove, you have to keep it stoked all day to keep the fire burning. Always pair your proteins with a carb. Eat clean, real and local foods, best of all organic!

Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?

My favorite female fitness competitor is Erin Stern. She is so dedicated, hard working, and such an inspiration to me. I have her on my vision board for 2012 to remind me that I need to strive to be strong and beautiful inside and out every day.

Another favorite of mine is Dana Linn Bailey. I love how crazy she is. She is unique and her strength is inspiring to me.

What Features Do You Use On

I love the exercise database. I love finding new ways to spice up my workouts and even finding new exercises for my clients. I have also ordered clothing and supplements as well. My favorite article of clothing I have purchased was my Kiss My Abs" shirt! It's a conversation piece at the gym!

Photographic Credit

Gord Weber
Curt Geneau